April showers bring May flowers, so the saying goes. But all the extra moisture in the ground from March rains and melting winter snow could mean for a wet and buggy spring, even well after the flowers start to grow. Our pets will without a doubt be excited to get back outdoors as the weather warms up, but as pet owners, it is our responsibility to make sure they stay healthy with the increased outdoor exposure. Consider these tips for getting your pet, especially a dog or outdoor cat, ready for spring!

 
Inspect your yard.As the east coast finally begins to thaw after a harsh winter, you could find a good amount of debris strewn around your yard or outdoor areas. Winter may have taken its toll on trees, fences, cable lines, and even wildlife. Check outdoor areas that your pet could explore for fallen branches, trash, broken wires or, sadly, animal carcasses to prevent your pet from ingesting anything unfamiliar.
 
Watch for seasonal allergies. A wet winter means that many humans are already seeing early signs of spring allergies. Pets are not immune to these symptoms, and may show signs of allergies as well. As explained by VETdispatch Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Lauren Connolly in a recent post on spring pet preparations, pet’s allergies are manifested through their skin, so watch for excessive itching in your pet. Although pet allergies cannot be prevented, should symptoms show up, speak with your veterinarian about treatments.
 
Increase exercise slowly. Your pet may be raring to go as soon as they set foot outdoors, but encourage them to take things slow. Less activity during winter may have allowed your pet to gain some weight or have decreased energy levels. Quickly jumping back into strenuous exercise or activity could lead to injuries. If you are also starting exercising this time of year, include your pet and help them to slowly work off the winter weight.
 
Flea, Tick & Heartworm prevention. Although fleas and ticks can survive the winter, as the weather gets warmer, they will come out in full force. Heartworm, which can be carried through mosquitoes, also becomes more prevalent this time of year. If you are not already treating your pet with preventive flea, tick and heartworm medications, now is the time to start.
 
Have a ball! It’s time to get outside with your pet! Enjoy the warmer weather with plenty of walks and playtimes outdoors. What are you looking forward to doing most with your pet this spring?